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Travel insurance for climbing overseas
5:08:09 PM
In New Zealand the NZAC have a deal with an insurance broker.

Recent trip to Yosemite I broke my leg. Claimed when I got back and had no problems. Very easy to get set up, but you do need to be a member.

Not sure if it caters for Aussies, but definitely worth checking.

6:01:51 PM
Pretty sure NZAC only covers NZers overseas and Australians in NZ.
According to recent NZAC newsletters they were trying to get coverage for Australians overseas other than NZ but it fell through. COuld be a market for something now....

I will be interested to hear if anyone knows alternatives to Insure4less for USA/Canada....

3:32:07 AM
Oh no... I just specifically bought insure4less with the intention to apply for an additional climbing premium - does this mean they're not insuring for climbing in Canada/USA anymore? I'm still waiting to hear back from them at the moment, I guess we'll see.

Other options:

Join the Austrian Alpine club UK section - members get up to EUR 25,000 in rescue costs; they will repatriate you (to wherever you live) from abroad without limitation on cost and up to EUR 10,000 for medical treatment abroad. This will cover you for trips up to 8 weeks - trips beyond that time, you can email them and get a quote for how much it'll be (from what I remember it was quite pricey for additional time). Covers up to 6000m, climbing, mountaineering, ski touring, whitewater. You'll still probably need to buy other travel insurance to supplement this

If you're going to be climbing in Canada, join the Alpine Club of Canada - they act as a broker for Travel Underwriters, which offers climbing insurance to visitors of Canada. Seems quite pricy too though when I put in a few dates for quotes.

I haven't come across any other Australian companies besides insure4less that will cover climbing. Anyone else got any ideas?
9:53:06 AM
On 21/11/2014 pei wrote:
>Join the Austrian Alpine club UK section - members get up to EUR 25,000
>in rescue costs; they will repatriate you (to wherever you live) from abroad
>without limitation on cost and up to EUR 10,000 for medical treatment abroad.
>This will cover you for trips up to 8 weeks - trips beyond that time, you
>can email them and get a quote for how much it'll be (from what I remember
>it was quite pricey for additional time). Covers up to 6000m, climbing,
>mountaineering, ski touring, whitewater. You'll still probably need to
>buy other travel insurance to supplement this

I've been a member of AAC-UK but thankfully not needed to call on it. It's worth remembering that EU10K will not last you one day in the emergency ward of a US hospital, in terms of covering medical treatment. There are plenty of tourists out there with bills for US$100K for a week.

EU25K rescue is fine for Europe, OK-ish for Canada, but only just a start for a serious helo rescue in many parts of the world. Helos alone cost a few thousand an hour, so with other costs added in a 40K rescue is nothing.

So, if anyone wants to supplement one policy with another, remember that for a significant claim, the insurers for one policy will want to know if you have another policy, if you are claiming on it, how much, and will try and get you to claim on that one first, rather than theirs. That could get messy.
9:03:19 AM
Join the AAC and then email them about their extra insurance. Pretty sure it was 1.60 euro per day with an insurance of 225,000 euro.

1:27:07 PM

Anyone got any new beta on insurance options for USA in the last few months? I take it insure4less is still a no go and AAC and global rescue aren't really comprehensive cover options.

Cheers for any advice,
7:38:33 AM
I'm not sure if this is helpful? I've been struggling with this question as well, for the Columbia Icefield (Canadian Rockies) this summer. The plan I've looked at tops out at 3500 m and the objective is 3800+. I'd be very interested in horror stories related to this/these (I'm not sure how many companies are involved) policy/policies. I'm looking at the Trawick Safe Travel plan and specifcally I wonder about this sentence: "This plan covers trekking up to 3500 meters with proper ropes or guides (not exceeding Class V) ".
9:01:26 AM
On 22/04/2015 capt_planit wrote:
>I'm not sure if this is helpful?

Interesting. I'd be wary of their recommendations if they think:
"Mountaineering up to 7,000 meters or 22965 feet in elevation (Such as the base camp of Everest, as well as peaking all but the 10 highest mountains in the world, and all but one of the seven summits.)"

And the linked brochure does not mention coverage of mountaineering. You have to go to:

And see that in #23 it excludes mountaineering, but in #37(b) it says mountaineering over 7000m

Given the dodgy description above, that would need careful and direct checking.

Also worth noting that the medical coverage will not pay for treatment back home here for the injury you sustained travelling: "Failure of the member to continue his or her international trip or the
members return to their home country for the sole purpose of
obtaining treatment for an illness or injury that began while
traveling shall void any home country coverage provided
under the terms of this agreement."

That might not matter. Or it might.
9:48:05 AM
Yeah, I caught that one too Damo (the elevation thing, not the continued care-well spotted). As usual I am really just a random link generator, and I scraped that site from here. I believe that the author (Martin Le Roux) has been up Mt. Logan with this coverage. Thanks for checking them out. Unless someone can come up with an alternative I may use them, and hope for the best!
6:42:51 AM
An update. I used one plan from Trawick International and one from Atlas (only one team member qualified for the Atlas). We made no claims so this is basically not a very informative review, however, both policies seemed to be administered in an efficent manner (no problems printing cards/proof of insurance etc.). The Atlas plan was half the price of the Trawick and extended much further in elevation (the Trawick plan only covered to 3500 m). The point was moot, we never made it over 2600 m! It was indeed very hot in western Canada.
10:56:02 PM
On 4/07/2015 jezlevett wrote:
>hey mate ill save u the trouble from months of research. i was in the usa
>for 7 months..
>1. get austrian alpine club for rescue insurance and invest in a epirb
>or spot.

Umm... If I'm not mistaken that will only cover you for rescue costs. It won't cover your medical costs if you need emergency surgery for injury. I'll be chasing some climbing travel insurance in the near future, what is everyone using?
3:30:13 PM
To resurrect an old and frequent thread - anybody got any new beta on travel insurance to the USA which would give some semblance of cover for trad climbing in Yosemite - Patto, did you manage to find anything which looked like it might pay out?

insure4less is still not offering it's Alpine plan (i.e cover for trad climbing) for the USA so unless I can find someone to sling a top-rope on el cap they're out...

The insurer recommended by the American alpine club won't cover other countries...

The Austrian Alpine Club (UK) insurer wont cover claims outside the EU...

And the rather dashingly named Global Rescue gets slammed in reviews on line...

Any new suggestions would be gratefully received...
4:06:26 PM
I ended up finding quite a few that would offer medical cover. Several of them have the same underwriters. Note; I didn't investigate the RESCUE cost coverage. But that is less important IMO and in NPs it is covered by you entrance fee I believe. (Though in some states/counties etc you can be held liable for costs, it really depends where you are.)

I wanted medical coverage for canyoning and trad climbing (including high elevations) as I was visiting the Meadows.

None of them have glamorous or impressive websites, which isn't encouraging..... And I can't comment on their readiness to pay out. Best advice obviously is avoiding needing the insurance!

HCC Atlas

Visit USA-HealthCare

Diplomat Insurance

IMG Patriot Platinum

Global Underwriters
(These are the guys I ended up using)

Reviews from claimants can be found here:
5:02:49 PM
Thanks for the detailed reply Patto - I'll check them out, and hopefully not have to use any.

On the plus side my life insurer assures me they cover climbing, which is nice...
9:12:34 PM
"Insure for Less" if you're based in Australia travelling overseas. I searched hi and low and in the end it seems like the only viable options are to get an insurance company that offers rock climbing cover for an addtional premium.
9:07:55 PM
On 25/03/2016 OzMamba wrote:
>"Insure for Less" if you're based in Australia travelling overseas. I searched
>hi and low and in the end it seems like the only viable options are to
>get an insurance company that offers rock climbing cover for an addtional

It's certainly a pain - just closing out some loops and hoops then I'll post an update on Patto's advice for future wandering chockstoners...
6:34:02 PM
ive been using IMG patriot insurance, for China, the US and Iran. covers climbing to 4500m.
theres a few versions, extra options etc. can do the whole lot online in a few mins.

ive had clarification on all sorts of matters and its always come back good. have never made a claim tho...
2:17:08 PM
To close out on Patto's great advice for future wandering Chockstoners; noting YMMV, Caveat emptor etc etc...

HCC Atlas Wont sell to Australia residents anymore.

Visit USA-HealthCare Only offer up to US$100k cover which won't last 5 minutes in a US hospital.

Diplomat Insurance PDS talks of mountaineering not climbing but checked their sales team by email and they confirm that they consider rock climbing counts as mountaineering.

IMG Patriot Platinum said that you wouldn't be covered unless guided.

Global Underwriters offer Diplomat Insurance so you end up there anyway. These are the guys I ended up using too.

And the only Aussie company who claim to offer climbing insurance, insure4less, wont cover trad climbing...

Hoping to join you Tripleshot in the bought but not claimed camp for IMG Patriot...

6:23:07 PM
Thanks Roast Chook. I see you did a thorough job of reading all those PDSs.....

On 31/03/2016 Roast_chook wrote:
>Visit USA-HealthCare Only offer up to US$100k cover which won't last 5
>minutes in a US hospital.
Smart choice. I chose a $500,000 coverage policy. I figured that if I'm going to be needing to be claiming it is serious and I want FULL coverage. I knew somebody who went climbing and had only $10,000 in coverage. That was mostly wiped out from an anaphylactic bee sting.

Yep I noticed IMG Patriot now lists guided. I think that must have changed....
2:08:54 PM
Figured i'd add my two cents.

Am going on a trip to Mexico this week for a friend's wedding. Seeing as i'm in the neighbourhood, i figured i'd drop into El Potrero and do a few days of sport climbing. Better get some insurance too!

My credit card offers complimentary travel insurance on expenses over $500 - like a return ticket to Los Angeles. So that takes care of most travel insurance needs and it even has unlimited medical expenses. However, exclusions are rock climbing, mountaineering and motorcycling. All the things i like!

The travel plan is a flight to LAX, two days in the States (no motorcycles, no climbing) and then two weeks in Mexico. 4 days will be spent climbing, the rest of the time I will be drunk so no climbing then.

Looked at the following providers:
There was a plan to offer insurance to non-NZ citizens but that seems to have been shelved

their policy excludes mountaineering, didn't do much more digging, it might be possible

- Insure4less Australia:
rock climbing (sport, up to 25 ewbank is what i specified) is possible to add to the insurance plan. However, only as a supplement to a single trip plan which seems to have a 5 day minimum. In my case that's just the climbing portion of my trip so 5 days of coverage excluding the USA - $42 for their most basic package. The four days of climbing were quoted as an ADDITIONAL $102. Ouch. Unlimited medical expenses though.

I'm a Dutch citizen so can get the Dutch alpine club to cover me. 50 euro a year for membership plus 30 euro for the insurance. Valid worldwide, but only as a supplement to travel insurance. It has a max of 25,000 euro for medical expenses. Not bad for a full year's coverage and it also covers shorter trips in Australia (3 night minimum). The medical expenses cap is a bit low though.

- Global Underwriters Diplomat International:
The policy can be bought for part of a trip on a minimum of 5 days. Good for me as i'm only climbing for 4 days of my trip. Mountaineering is included by adding a 'hazardous sports' cover that also includes scuba diving and motorcycling. I went with this option and paid AUD 20 for 5 days of coverage (outside the USA) with a max of 1M USD medical expenses, $0 excess and $25k USD death and disability cover (the minimum). 4 bucks a day is a lot better than the 25 a day that Insure4less quoted me. On a longer trip i would halve the medical coverage and take a $250 excess to drop the daily rate a fair bit.

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